Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

if they will but love her and make much of her. She will cast out of her purse gold like dust in some places and to some persons. She loves to be sought after, spoken well of, and to lie in the bosoms of men. She is never weary of commending her commodities, and she loves them most that think best of her. She will promise to some crowns and kingdoms, if they will but take her advice; yet many hath she brought to the halter, and ten thousand times more to hell.

STAND. Oh! said Standfast, what a mercy is it that I did resist her; for whither might she have drawn me!

GREAT. Whither! nay, none but God knows whither. But in general, to be sure, she would have drawn thee into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 'Twas she that set Absalom against his father, and Jeroboam against his master. 'Twas she that persuaded Judas to sell his Lord; and that prevailed with Demas to forsake the godly pilgrim's life. None can tell of the mischief that she doth. She makes variance betwixt rulers and subjects, betwixt parents and children, betwixt neighbour and neighbour, betwixt a man and his wife, betwixt a man and himself, betwixt the flesh and the spirit. Wherefore, good Mr. Standfast, be as your name is ; and when you have done all, stand.

At this discourse there was among the pilgrims a mixture of joy and trembling; but at length they broke out and sang :

What danger is the pilgrim in!

How many are his foes ! How many ways there are to sin

No living mortal knows.

b I Tim. vi. 9.

Some in the ditch are spoiled, yea, can

Lie tumbling in the mire :
Some, though they shun the frying-pan,

Do leap into the fire.

After this, I beheld until they were come into the land of Beulah, where the sun shineth night and day. Here, because they were weary, they betook themselves a while to rest. And because this country was common for pilgrims, and because the orchards and vineyards that were here belonged to the King of the Celestial Country, therefore they were licensed to make bold with any of his things. But a little while soon refreshed them here; for the bells did so ring, and the trumpets continually sound so melodiously, that they could not sleep, and yet they received as much refreshing as if they slept their sleep never so soundly. Here also all the noise of them that walked the streets was, More pilgrims are come to town! And another would answer, saying, And so many went over the water, and were let in at the golden gates to-day! They would cry again. There is now a legion of shining ones just come to town, by which we know that there are more pilgrims upon the road; for here they come to wait for them, and to comfort them after all their sorrow! Then the pilgrims got up, and walked to and fro. But how were their ears now filled with heavenly noises, and their eyes delighted with celestial visions! In this land they heard nothing, saw nothing, felt nothing, smelt nothing, tasted nothing, that was offensive to their stomach or mind; only when they tasted of the water DEATH BITTERTO of the river over which they were to go,

they thought that it tasted a little bitterish to the palate ; but it proved sweeter when it was down.

THE FLESH, BUT
SWEET TO THE
SOUL

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors]

EBBINGS AND FLOW.

In this place there was a record kept of the names of them that had been pilgrims of old, and a history of all the famous acts that they had done. It was here also much discoursed, how the river to some DEATH HAS ITS had had its flowings, and what ebbings it INGS, LIKE THE TIDE. has had while others have gone over. It has been in a manner dry for some, while it has overflowed its banks for others.

In this place the children of the town would go into the King's gardens, and gather nosegays for the pilgrims, and bring them to them with much affection. Here also grew camphire, with spikenard and saffron, calamus, and cinnamon, with all the trees of frankincense, myrrh, and aloes, with all chief spices. With these the pilgrims' chambers were perfumed while they stayed here; and with these were their bodies anointed, to prepare them to go over the river when the time appointed was come.

Now, while they lay here, and waited for the good hour, there was a noise in the town that there was a post come from the Celestial City, with A MESSENGER OF matter of great importance to one Chris- CHRISTIAN A. tiana, the wife of Christian the pilgrim. So inquiry was made for her, and the house was found out where she was. So the post presented her with a letter. The contents were, Hail, good woman ; I bring 118 MESSAGE. thee tidings that the Master calleth for thee, and expecteth that thou shouldst stand in his presence, in clothes of immortality, within these ten days.

When he had read this letter to her, he gave her therewith a sure token that he was a true messenger, and was come to bid her make haste to be gone. The token was, an arrow with a point sharpened with love, let easily into her heart, which by degrees wrought so

DEATH SENT TO
CHRISTIANA

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »